Without science, humanity’s spiritual transformation is impossible. Through it, we gradually learn to see the world with eyes no longer prone to distorted perception. Science cuts away misleading ideas and assumptions in order to give clarity to truth. It is, therefore, a great sword that divides the real from that which only seems to be real. And, while using this sword, the day will come when science begins to discern the soul from its outer garment, the personality. Indeed, this is the divine mandate of science.
Contrary to the traditional scientific view, it is consciousness that is evolving toward a higher state. Outer forms (such as physical or societal) are simply the externalized effect of this. Indeed, the way we live is based upon the ideas we hold. Looked at in this way, human history is best understood as the evolution of ideas expressed through form. Whether speaking of business, the arts, government or religion, all are out-pictured categories of human ideations evolving over the vastness of time. Science is no exception.
Though humanity has long believed in the soul, it has largely been mysticism and faith that has formed the foundation of this belief. As another out-pictured category of human consciousness, religion has done a great service to humanity in this regard. Yet, gradually another category of consciousness, science, is rising in its capacity to influence our lives and reshape our understanding of the spiritual dimension of life. Science is beginning to break free from the limitations of its Newtonian bias and, by so doing, has discovered something deeper and more profound about reality. Indeed, the emergence of quantum physics in the twentieth century has gradually led the scientific community to conclude that there is a field of energy underlying matter. Interestingly, the next advancement will emerge when physicists realize that the energy underlying matter is actually alive. In fact, it is Life itself.
Consciousness studies are proving to be a very promising branch of scientific inquiry. Sometimes called transpersonal research, it hypothesizes that beyond the normal dimensions of the human mind is a deeper realm of individualized being. Research associated with altered states of consciousness, mythological-psychological correlation studies, psychic research, and the analysis of near-death experiences are a few of the many scientific avenues now applied to this inquiry. From this will eventually emerge (probably in this century) scientific proof of the existence of the human soul, and its continuity after death.
At this point, it would be well to examine a major obstacle that science must overcome in order to live up to its spiritual destiny. Consciously or unconsciously, many scientists hold the view that if something cannot be proven it isn’t real. Regrettably, this attitude tends to block the possibility of seeing deeper truths. It presupposes that the current methods of scientific inquiry are the only means of ascertaining the truth. Intuition and the testimonials of thousands of mystics throughout history are too easily dismissed as examples of unbridled imagination.
This attitude must change.
It is well that science maintains a cautionary note. Yet, it should be the attitude of open-minded caution (rather than undue skepticism) that serves as the starting point for scientific inquiry. Let us not forget that many of the advances in science today are simply validations of farsighted intuitions held by people long ago. Intuition is the realm of consciousness from which the soul speaks. When properly interpreted, it offers the human mind insight into the larger meaning of life and circumstance, and provides understanding that rational thinking alone cannot reach.
The role of science is to separate truth from pseudo-truth so that we learn to see reality with greater clarity and with less distortion. As such, science is truly a sword that divides. Through the blending of intuition and rational thought, science will one day live up to its divine mandate and prove the existence of the soul.
By analogy, the soul can be viewed as a dove having two wings. One wing is intuition and the other is the discriminative mind. The time is ripe for the mind to unite with its long rejected companion. For when both wings are cooperatively strong, the human soul can truly take flight and soar.